*(We) Give Us a Break*

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The results for Week 699, one of the change-a-word-by-one-letter
contests that some people think we should run every single week instead
of all this other stuff with jokes and cartoons and poems and such
drivel, were -- we have to admit -- so clever and so abundant that we
needed two weeks' worth of columns to share the worthiest entries with
you. Also, this is a convenient way for the Empress to take a day off
from judging and go lounge poolside in the Imperial Hammock, taking care
first to don the Imperial Parka and Earmuffs and Moon Boots.

*Report From Week 699, in which we asked readers to change any word beginning with E, F, G or H
by one letter and define the result.

This week we'll present the best of
the E's and F's, with a whole set of winner and Losers. The best of the
G's and H's will appear March 18. That week, the winner will also get
the Inker, the official Style Invitational trophy, and the first
runner-up will receive the magnetic Greek alphabet letters pictured
here, brought back from Hellas itself by Kevin Dopart of Washington.
(The letters are spelling out both the Greek word for "loser" and the
English word phonetically.)

The rule for Week 699 was that the original word, not the result, had to
begin with E, F, G or H. So, for instance, "flactate," a verb for a PR
person's feeding drips of gossip to hungry reporters, couldn't go. The
rules permitted a letter to be added, subtracted or substituted with
another letter. Also, two letters could be transposed; several Losers
realized that they didn't have to be adjacent letters. Also not
qualifying: adding a number instead of a letter, as in Kevin Dopart's
clever "GeiCO┬▓: Global warming insurance," one of his 191 entries. (To
answer your next question, no, Kevin is not on the federal payroll.)

For some reason, the single word that appeared on practically everyone's
list was "fratulence," defined variously as a wafting from beer or kegs
or college-kid dirty laundry.

*4. Fuhrenheit: The temperature in Hell.* (Brendan Beary, Great Mills)

*3. Eruditz: A philosophy professor who can't figure out how to work the
copying machine.* (John Kupiec, Fairfax)

*2. /the winner of the artsy tubes of Breath Palette toothpaste:/
Fearcical: Ludicrous yet vaguely alarming. "There's a fearcical rumor
we're going to invade Venezuela."* (Martin Bancroft, Rochester, N.Y.)

*And the Winner Of the Inker*

*Epigramp: A maxim that brands the speaker as an old codger: "If God had
wanted women to wear pants . . ."* (Brendan Beary)

*Not Ef Bad*

*Tedema: That jowly Kennedy look.* (Kevin Dopart)

*Educrate: To teach in one of the "modules" set up "temporarily" in the
parking lot of an overcrowded school.* (Ted Einstein, Silver Spring)

*Elbrow: Extremely long underarm hair.* (Ellen Raphaeli, Falls Church)

*Emacidate: Go out with a fashion model.* (Kevin Dopart)

*Editore: Edited.* (Peter Metrinko, Chantilly)

*Demoticon: A little symbol signifying bad news on an e-mail from the
boss.* (Roy Ashley, Washington)

*Tempress: Today, Mistress of the Domains of Chaos; tomorrow, just
another loser.* (Ann Martin, Annapolis)

*Zencompass: Wherever you go, there you are.* (Kevin Dopart)

*Unergy: A condition that strikes people on the way to work, mostly on
Mondays.* (Janet Alexandrow, Springfield)

*Ennaui: The least exciting of the Hawaiian islands.* (Brendan Beary)

*Entrophy: The consequence of resting on one's laurels.* (Bill Strider,

*Eohoppus: A prehistoric kangaroo.* (Brendan Beary)

*Enguish: What elocution teachers feel when they hear the president on
the radio.* (Karl Koerber, Crescent Valley, B.C.)

*Estchew: To stay on daylight saving time.* (Bob Kopac, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)

*Stonia: A small European country with very loose drug laws.* (Russell
Beland, Springfield)

*Engin: Gasohol.* (Andrew Hoenig, Rockville)

*Innui: How you feel upon seeing the same landscape painting you saw in
your last six hotel rooms.* (Dave Komornik, Danville, Va.)

*Erstwhale: The success story in the Jenny Craig ad.* (Jay Shuck,

*Nestrogen: A hormone produced during pregnancy that produces cravings
for wallpaper with matching borders and dust ruffles.* (Brendan Beary)

*Estrogent: Someone who asks if the fabulous pumps are available in a 13
1/2 E.* (Phil Frankenfeld, Washington)

*Excaliburp: Sword swallower's reflux.* (Marian Carlsson, Lexington, Va.)

*Excretary: The office worker who seems to spend two hours a day in the
bathroom.* (Jay Shuck)

*Exhillaration: what Monica almost caused in Bill.* (Peter Metrinko)

*Experdition: The journey to Hell.* (Martin Bancroft; Mae Scanlan,

*Excavhate: To dredge up an old grievance during an argument.* (Mike
Fransella, Arlington)

*Macebook.com: For warding off cyber-stalkers.* (Ben Aronin, Washington)

*FAQu: The response to frequently asked stupid questions.* (Ira Allen,

*Yellowship: Cowards Anonymous.* (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village)

*Fiefdome: A state capitol building.* (Creigh Richert, Aldie)

*Fistipuffs: Very minor squabbling.* (Jim Lubell, Mechanicsville)

*Flabboyant: Proudly displaying one's girth. "In his Chippendales skit
on 'SNL,' Chris Farley was amazingly flabboyant."* (Brendan Beary)

*Fatulence: That squishing noise of thighs rubbing together.* (Jim
Lubell, Mechanicsville)

*Flimflame: To commit arson for the insurance money.* (Howard Walderman,

*Loozies: All those women who hang on Style Invitational contestants.*
(Kevin Dopart)

*Foaly: A elderly horse who likes to bother young colts.* (John Holder,

*Foresking: The best mohel in town.* (Brendan Beary)

*Fortissimoo: More, more, more cowbell!* (Chris Doyle, sent from
vacation in Bangkok)

*Farternity: An old boys' club.* (David Franks, Wichita)

*Forget-me-note: A Dear John letter.* (Chris Doyle)

*Faux pAl - When your Inker-winning gag about "Gandhi II" turns out to
have already been used by some guy named Yankovic.* (Andy Bassett, New
Plymouth, New Zealand)

/*Next Week: Stump Us,*/ /or/ /*The Battle of Hustings*/ (Mark
Eckenwiler, Washington)